The MPAA often comes in for criticism about how and why it decides on its rating system, in particular the judicious use of profanity. You could make a quaint, intimate character-driven drama about something as random or trivial as a married couple buying a new toaster, but if they say “f*ck” more than once, it gets an R-rating.
The solitary F-bomb allowed in PG-13 productions is often shoehorned in for shock value, and in the end it can often end up falling flat. When Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops warns Magneto in Dark Phoenix; “If you touch Jean, I’ll f*cking kill you”, it comes off as a forced attempt to make the actor’s Scott Summers feel like a badass. On the other side of the coin, Hugh Jackman’s First Class cameo is the perfect example of how to maximize foul language within the PG-13 framework.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage contains an obligatorily F-bomb, and in a new interview with ComicBook, director Andy Serkis teased that he’s confident that it’s been placed in the ideal situation to draw the best possible reaction from an audience.
“Well, you’re allowed. The authorities allow you to have, for a PG-13, you’re allowed to have one F-bomb word, and so that’s where we used it. We saved it for that particular moment. Hopefully, people will enjoy it.”
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven, you don’t have to utilize the F-bomb for the sake of it just because you can, even if the R-rated Deadpool 3 will no doubt contain enough creatively foul language to account for thirteen years without hearing it in the franchise. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now playing in theaters everywhere, so you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth a f*ck or not.